It’s no secret that travel has changed me. It’s made me smarter, braver and more confident. Equally, when I look back on the past year, I can see that travel blogging has changed me fundamentally as well.
As I said last week , I really can’t believe I’ve been doing this for an entire year. When I started this blog I just wanted an outlet to write about my trips and maybe encourage a few other people to travel as well. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into and how blogging might actually change my own life.
The surprises have been amazing. For so long I thought that I hated to work. I’ve never had a job I enjoyed, and I figured I was just inherently lazy. How depressing. Then I started this blog and I discovered the crazy kind of motivation that comes from actually being passionate about what you do. There’s work that I love so much that I will work for free! Work that I will stay home on a Friday night to do, joyfully. Apparently there was a secret workaholic in me, just waiting to come out!
I wanted to be a writer, I’ve ended up becoming an editor, a saleswoman, a social media addict. Somewhere along the way I became a businesswoman. Business cards and everything. This blog has grown to heights I really never expected, and every month it continues to surprise me.
Knowing you guys care about what I have to say has made me bolder. It’s made me more confident. I like to think it’s made me a better writer (you can go back and check the early archives for yourself). I have opinions, things to say. In September I’m speaking on my first panel where I’m sure I’ll have all sorts of keen insights to share (maybe).
From someone who is usually too shy to answer the phone, I’ve become a social networker. I organize tweet-ups (and don’t even laugh at the world tweet-up anymore). I haul myself up to New York to karaoke and socialize with people I’ve never met before. I’ve got connections all over the world.
Blogging has even changed the way I travel. I’m probably more daring, more inquisitive. The fact that I will be writing about my big trip in September gives the journey a structure and makes it seem far more meaningful than it would otherwise. I can’t wait to share my adventures with everyone.
The opportunities that have come from blogging, the ideas I’ve gotten and the people I’ve met have been the greatest rewards (although seeing myself published in a Lonely Planet guidebook was pretty sweet too). This blog has taken me places, both literally and figuratively that I never thought possible.
So I’m emboldened now. I walk a little taller, I talk passionately at parties (whether people care or not). The truth is starting this blog is the only thing that’s gotten me through the past year of waiting, and I’m so excited to see where we go next!